Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

SHORT-LIVED ZAND DYNASTY       377
Gulf. The trade was at first miserably smaD, only one
ship being despatched annually from Bombay, and until
1790 the establishment was maintained at an annual loss ;
but from that date onward trade increased by leaps and
bounds.
The Expedition Against Basra, A.H. 1189-1190 (1775-
1776).—Karim Khan engaged in an expedition against
Basra, mainly in order to occupy and pay his army;
though he put forward the flimsy pretext that pilgrims to
the sacred sites were taxed. The place was taken by Sadik
Khan, brother of the Regent, after a blockade of thirteen
months. He treated the citizens justly, and was particu-
larly friendly to the British Resident. No attempt seems
to have been made by the Turks to recover Basra, but
upon the death of Karim Khan a few years later it was
evacuated by the Persians and fell again into their hands.
Zaki Khan.—Upon the death of the Vakil in 17793
furious rivalries and ambitions "were again unchained.
Not only was the Zand family weakened by family feuds
and assassinations, but the long struggle for power between
it and the Kajar dynasty was renewed-—a struggle which
ended in the victory of the Xajars, who have ever since
remained the ruling family of Iran. Besides his brother
Sadik Khan, the captor of Basra, Karim Khan had also a
half-brother on his mother's side named Zaki Khan. This
man had once rebelled and had been pardoned. He was
subsequently appointed to command an expedition to
Damghan, where Husayn Kuli Khan,1 Kajar, had revolted.
This rising he quelled with barbarous cruelty, fastening
his prisoners to stakes and then ccplanting" them head
foremost in the ground. He had displayed similar
ferocity elsewhere, and in consequence his name was both
feared and execrated all over Persia,
After the death of Karim Khan, Zaki Khan at once
usurped the government. A number of the Zand chiefs
seized the Shiraz fort and declared for Abul Fatteh Khan,
son of the Vakil. Zaki Khan, who was supported by his
nephew Ali Murad, also declared for Abul Fatteh, and on
the strength of this made terms with the chiefs in die fort;
1 Husayn Kali Khan was the father of Fath Ali Shah.